gas well mechanics

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by navygirl, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. navygirl

    navygirl Well-Known Member

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    Gas wells in West VA. Anybody ever had the pleasure? Wondering how they do that? Are you looking at a big ugly whatsit that spoils your view every day? Is it a noisy whatsit that scares your livestock? Does it try to pollute your well with its evil whatsit by-products?

    Does the gas company hook it up to your house for you? Is it gas or liquid? If you decide to build a new domicile, who moves the whatsit to the new hookup? And does that cost a lot of ca$h?

    Does the gas man come out to your place to read the whatsit meter? If he does, does he tell you he's coming first, or does he just mace your dog?(or geese, or guinea hen, or donkey).

    If the gas company decides to build more whatsits on your little patch of heaven, do they let you know first? Or is it more maceing of your livestock? If they trash your driveway or fences, or kill your livestock putting in more whatsits, do they reimburse you? Do they even consult you before installing it in the middle of your freshly plowed garden plot?

    Okay, maybe it's not anywhere near that bad. But I'm a bit mistrustful of any sort of bigger than me business. And maybe the free utilities may be worth the price of a guinea hen or two if I take into account the price of electricity.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The companies usually try to get along with land owners. However, if you sell or lease the right to put a gas well on your property, they have every right to reasonable egress and construction. You don't sound like someone who will be happy with a well. If you have the rights, don't lease. If you bought without the rights, you cannot stop them anyway. And no, they will not contact you every time they want to do something. Do you plan to contact them BEFORE you plant the garden, etc? Now, for me, after a lifetime in the oil and gas business, I would love the free gas (if no h2s) but NOT if they need a compressor, now or in the future. Gas wells are silent, for the most part, but compressors are noisey. Educate yourself before you sign anything.
     

  3. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    A lot depends on which company is involved. We have at least four maybe five companies with either wells or right of ways across the farm. Our experience is you never get advance notice.

    I've greeted at least one right of way maintenance crew with a shotgun. All of them skedaddled. Chainsaws, dozers and the like tend to get me off the porch fast. The next thing that happened was the sheriff gave me a call explaining what was going on. He really didn't want to come out and get involved.

    The latest is after a right of way crew mowed, the gas company came out and sprayed a herbicide on the R/W to kill some trees. I wasn't happy about that and that ended up in a bunch of phone conversations. Most times the gas companies try to ignore you. The folks that are on your propertry know nothing and it's difficult to get someone who can make a decision.

    In fairness, one of the companies put up a gate and spread gravel on a road so they will at times do something useful. In these times the free gas can be a blessing but it's up to you to provide the equipment in most cases and make sure the service doesn't freeze during the winter. In our case that means we have to supply a high pressure regulator because the gas comes directly from the well, a low pressure regulator like the one everyone has on their home service, a moisture separator and the piping, valves and fittings to put that together. You'll need to change the anti-freeze in the separator at least yearly.

    As mentioned a gas well is silent. If you are right next to a separator you can hear the gas bubbling up through the anti-freeze. Drilling is obviously very noisey. You can hear a drill rig about a mile away. A compressor station is another level of noise. A gas company isn't going to put one of those on land they don't own. I doubt if anyone is going to build one of those on your property. The gas companies have been upgrading existing stations and pipelines to increse capacity.
     
  4. navygirl

    navygirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I'm looking at a piece of property in West VA now that has a gas well on it already so I assume that the company who owns that well can do whatever they want there. I'll contact them directly to get specific answers to my questions. It's just difficult because they are "over there" and I am "over here". That's why I asked here first...hoping someone would have had first-hand experience with gas wells.

    But granny is going to visiting that area in the near future and she can visit the well and have a listen and maybe take some phone numbers or something off the machinery and give the company a jingle.

    So Darren, even after the run-ins with strangers on your property and the herbicides and stuff...has it been worth it to have free gas? (I assume you do have free gas?).
     
  5. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    The gas rights came to us via the adjoining parcel we bought a few years after buying the place where we live. I've never run the gas line over to house. Over time I've bought odds and ends for the project. It took a while to locate the gas line into the house on the other parcel at a point I could redirect it. I lucked out and found a bucket of valves for $20 at a flea market which means I now have about four of the several valves I need.

    Finding the old gas line involved digging a bunch of holes in line with the well and the regulator. Now I need to dig a 500' trench to tie into the old service, buy all the parts I mentioned and put everything together. The water line is my priority. That involves about a quarter mile of 2" line plus a stream crossing. In time every thing gets done.
     
  6. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    We leased our land with a gas company and in the past 4 years, they have drilled 5 wells on us. Putting a new well in creates a big mess, especially if it is rainy weather. The drilling rigs are loud, but are usually done after 3 or 4 days of drilling. In my experience, once they are done, they grade everything back to how it was and plant grass. Yes, I do have a bag black tank and pipes sticking up where each well is, but it's no big deal. Once a week, the well tender comes and tends to the wells. He doesn't bother us, we don't bother him. Yes, they do have the right to come and go, but they have worked with us and asked our opinions on things.
    You are responsible for buying the pipe, fittings, etc. and digging the trench etc. They simply provide a hookup at the well.
    Your best bet is to see if the gas and oil rights actually comes with the property. In any case, you should go to the court house to read the gas lease. That lease is the "law" and not much can change it (unless it is an old lease from 50 years ago and they are going to drill another well.
    The free gas I have is a wonderful thing. The deal I worked up, I have all the free gas I can use (most times you only get 200,000 or 300,000 cubic feet which is enough to heat most average homes for the year).
    The big plus is the royalties I get each month. I get 1/8 of everything each well produces. While 1/8 may not sound like alot, you must remember that I provided nothing other than the land and oil & gas rights. The gas company paid for the drilling of the well and the upkeep (and the risk that it be a dead well or a dud.)
    We look forward to each monthly check we get and natural gas prices do not effect how warm we keep our house!